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To ask which number of children you found hardest?

105 replies

obsessedwithsleep · 15/09/2022 08:44

I haven't explained myself very clearly in the title as I didn't know how to phrase it.

Basically, which transition did you find hardest? Was it going from no children to one, one to two or two to three?

Or more!

OP posts:
NoParticularPattern · 15/09/2022 10:27

I think it’s a tie between 0-1 and 1-2. 0-1 was HARD but I only had the one the concentrate on so at the end of the day it didn’t really matter so much if I didn’t get anything done other than attend to the baby’s needs. 1-2 was borderline impossible when you suddenly have to balance the needs of tiny new baby who can do nothing at all and then toddler who can do some stuff but not others and is often annoyed about the stuff they can’t do. The ridiculous nap tag team was hideous too. No sleeping in the day any more! Learning to share yourself out between them but the guilt of neither understanding why it had to be that way. Eugh. Brutal. Yeah 1-2 was hardest. 2-3 was easy in comparison.

SpinningFloppa · 15/09/2022 10:32

I’m surprised so many found 0-1 the hardest? When I had one child it was so easy, now I have 4 it’s definitely been the hardest 3-4 has been hell 3 wasn’t that bad but 4 has been a whole new level of hard beyond belief! One kid would be easy!

pear6782 · 15/09/2022 10:34

0-1 was hard (I think…but maybe time has made the memories easier lol)
1-2 was ok…
but 2-3 has been super super hard (and I must be alone in this because I hardly ever saw this point of view on mumsnet!).

budgiegirl · 15/09/2022 10:37

0-1 fairly easy - biggest change to my life, of course, but I knew that would happen, so didn't come as a shock. Tiredness was hard though.

1-2 also fairly easy - 16 months gap, but easy babies, so not too bad, not as hard as I thought it would be. Tiredness not too bad, because used to it by then!

2-3 hardest by far. 3 year gap. Perhaps because I assumed slotting one more in would be easy. Or because I was back to square one with tiredness. Mostly because I'd run out of hands by then! 3 under 5s is hard work!

Wouldn't change it though, even though it was hard.

Favouritefruits · 15/09/2022 10:52

One child to two children was so hard in the beginning, but now it’s so easy, they entertain and play with each other but Jesus, the first few months I felt like I was going to collapse with exhaustion .

TheCanyon · 15/09/2022 10:55

For me, the first child NEVER slept and had various issues such as colic, allergies etc. Second child was an absolute dream baby and only 22 months between them. Going from 2-4 wasby far the easiest as we had great routines by then so the twins kinda just had to slot in to them at first.

mistermagpie · 15/09/2022 10:59

From one to two, but there is only 20 months between them so I had two under two for a while.

Then I had a third when the eldest was four. Honestly it didn't make a lot of difference at that point.

35965a · 15/09/2022 11:03

None to one was the hardest. One to two was an adjustment but nowhere near as hard and there’s less than 2 years between my DC.

ScavengerHunt · 15/09/2022 11:07

I found 1-2 emotionally hardest because I felt so guilty about my oldest suddenly having to share me.
2-3 physically hardest by a long way - it didn’t help that my third was my worst sleeper.
0-1 easiest in every sense.

In my group of friends those of us who found 0-1 easy found 1-2 hard, and those who found 0-1 hard found 1-2 easy.

capricorn12 · 15/09/2022 11:09

0-1was difficult in a 'what have I done to my life?' kind of way as DS1 was a cranky, colicky non-sleeper who then became a very active, non-sleeping toddler who was also a very fussy eater.

1-2 was fine because I was prepared for the worst but DS2 was a breeze in comparison.

2-3 was hard because of a huge age gap (boys were 13 and 8 when DD was born). DD was not planned and having to go back to square one after seeing the light at the end of the tunnel was hard! Also I was a lot older (42) and no longer had as much support from grandparents as my parents had passed away by then and in laws were not as capable or willing as before.

Stickortwister · 15/09/2022 11:12

Having any number of children under the age of 5 is exhausting.
I have 4 but the youngest is now 8 and apart from occasional teenage issues my life is infinitely le

Stickortwister · 15/09/2022 11:13

Ah posted mid message!

Less stressful now they are all continent can dress themselves and can be left alone for short periods

SallyWD · 15/09/2022 11:21

None to one. I found going from one to two quite easy.

sóh₂wl̥ · 15/09/2022 11:27

I’m surprised so many found 0-1 the hardest? When I had one child it was so easy

It was biggest change for me but there was a relocation in pg as well - but also pfb was a Velcro child - has to be held by me or else - so I was trained up for subsequent children.

1-2 was made harder due to another relocation very quick after birth - so trying to cope with learning to balance two sets of needs having lost entire support network and dealing with another major life event.

Three coming along was quieter time - and I was used to a baby in arms and toddler at feet.

I was warned by parents who had four that it was often a myth the slotted in with rest of the family - some did many didn't - we stopped for many reasons before that point.

TheGirlWhoLived · 15/09/2022 11:28

2 to 3, a whole different ball game!

OhILoveDoughnuts · 15/09/2022 11:34

None to 1

grey12 · 15/09/2022 11:46

None to one. HUGE change in your life!!!

And then 2 to 3. That was more difficult then I expected. Definitely! You need a different car, a different house, you only have 2 legs and 2 hands........

FourOclock · 15/09/2022 11:53

I've got two and pregnant with third, I'm imagining 2-3 is going to be the hardest for me. 0-1 was easy, I was a nanny previously so only having one and not having a boss/schedule to keep to it was a walk in the park in comparison. 12 month age gap between my two so 1-2 also fairly easy as they both napped a lot and have always been at fairly similar stages in life. Slightly dreading 2-3, suddenly having preschool runs to do, plus entertaining/feeding a 3 and 4 year old alongside a newborn will be interesting

obsessedwithsleep · 15/09/2022 11:55

Thanks everyone. We're contemplating a third so we'd have a 4.5yo, just 3yo and then a newborn.

I think like everyone says - a lot of it is down to luck and personality type and, of course, sleep!

OP posts:
Kissingfrogs25 · 15/09/2022 11:59

Can you afford a third?
Are you financially very comfortable and secure even from an unseen development?
Do you have plenty of back up support in case you are ill/out of action?
Are you happy to sacrifice hobbies/down time etc for another two years?

CatSeany · 15/09/2022 11:59

1 to 2 definitely, and I have 2 kids. I'd have a third but only with a larger age gap (20 months between the two).

mast0650 · 15/09/2022 12:00

0-1 definitely. But I only have 2.


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Thesearmsofmine · 15/09/2022 12:01

1 to 2 was hardest for me. Small gap and number two was a velcro baby who didn’t like sleep much. 2 to 3 was easy in comparison.

Blossomandbee · 15/09/2022 12:03

2 to 3 was by far the hardest for me. It changed the dynamics of everything.

mast0650 · 15/09/2022 12:05

I’m surprised so many found 0-1 the hardest? When I had one child it was so easy, now I have 4 it’s definitely been the hardest 3-4 has been hell 3 wasn’t that bad but 4 has been a whole new level of hard beyond belief! One kid would be easy!

2 children was harder work than just 1. And I'm sure more would be harder work again. But the question was more about the transition and having the first child was by far the biggest change and therefore the most difficult, at least for me. I went from being able to do whatever I wanted (especially as I had been a graduate student, living in student accommodation, separately from my husband right up until late pregnancy) to feeling totally tied and unable to live my own life anymore. A second child was just more of the same, but I'd got the hang of it a bit more, and had finished by PhD and had a proper maternity leave. Plus no. 2 was a textbook baby compared to the decidedly unsettled and uncooperative no. 1.

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